5,000 sign up in 24 hours
SNP membership surges on back of ‘power grab’ row
Ian Blackford about to speak ahead of his expulsion and Commons walkout
The SNP has recruited more than 5,000 members following this week’s bust-up in the House of Commons, the party has claimed.
In the 24 hours since the party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford was expelled from the chamber it has signed up 5,085 members, taking it close to becoming the second biggest party in the UK and ahead of the Conservatives.
Mr Blackford was thrown out by speaker John Bercow after refusing to sit down in a debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The SNP MP argues that the proposals will leave many devolved powers under the control of Westminster.
After his expulsion all SNP MPs walked out of Prime Minister’s Questions in protest, creating uproar in the Chamber.
Commenting, SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: “The Tories think they can do what they want to Scotland and get away with it, but Scotland has told the Tories loudly and clearly – hands off our Parliament.
“It’s no wonder people are joining the SNP in their droves – we are the only party standing up for Scotland and doing all we can to defend the powers of our Parliament. That is why 5,085 people have joined the party in the last 24 hours.
“As the SNP made clear at PMQs yesterday, this Tory power grab will not be tolerated and we will fight tooth and nail to defend the powers that are rightly held by Holyrood.
“The Tories’ power grab has provoked a full-on constitutional crisis – but it is one entirely of their own making, and they can fix it at any time by ending their attack on devolution.
“If they don’t, they’ll only see more people deciding that independence is the best option for Scotland’s future.”
The Vow was a pledge by the three party leaders in Westminster ahead of the independence referendum in 2014 to deliver more powers to Scotland.
Mr Foote said his column today was inspired by the events since the Brexit vote. He wrote: “For me, independence is about autonomy, allowing Scotland to meet success and failure on its own merit and not point an embittered finger of blame at anyone else.
“I have reconciled that independence would herald good and bad. I trust in us to solve the problems that will come our way. If so many other countries can, it is inconceivable that Scotland can’t.
“The Yes-Yes campaign which brought our parliament back from the dead 20 years ago asked Scotland to take a leap of faith and to trust in ourselves. When we are next asked the independence question, I’ll strap on my work boots and take that leap.”
It may not be lost on some that he chose to run his article in a London newspaper rather than a Scottish title.